Best of 2011

A Farewell to the Stars We Lost This Year

From Elizabeth Taylor to Amy Winehouse, we pay tribute to the people whose lives touched us all

NICK ASHFORD

Performing as Ashford & Simpson alongside his wife, Valerie Simpson, Nick Ashford co-wrote some of Motown's most memorable hits, including "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "Reach Out and Touch Somebody's Hand." "Being married is the best thing that ever happened to me," Ashford told PEOPLE in 1978 of the union that produced two daughters and an impressive musical legacy. The singer-songwriter passed away on Aug . 22 in New York City at age 70 after suffering complications from throat cancer.